Construction on Kentucky roads is common during the summer, and introduces all kinds of new hazards to drivers and workers. Because workers are so vulnerable with nothing to protect them, the responsibility often falls on the driver to implement new safety measures and pay closer attention to what is going on in front of them.

According to the United StatesDepartment of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 200,000 were injured in work zones crashes in the last five years. Close to 5,000 people were killed in these accidents. While it may seem like you are losing time when you are driving slow, the truth is that slowing down from 65 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour only costs you about 25 seconds per mile.

Drivers should stay extremely alert when moving through construction zones. Distracted driving is a serious problem on regular highways but becomes even more dangerous when they are work vehicles, construction workers and barriers in the way. If you look down for even a second to change the radio station, answer your phone or eat a sandwich, the cars in front of you could stop and you could smash into the back of them.

Always watch for signs that construction is ahead. There will be orange, diamond-shaped signs warning you that a work zone is ahead and you should merge into the appropriate lanes as quickly as possible rather than speeding up to get ahead of other cars.

When driving through construction, it is also important to take in context clues to determine when traffic will stop. Watch the brake lights of vehicles in front of you and be prepared to react quickly if traffic stops suddenly. One of the best ways for drivers to keep themselves and workers safe through construction zones is to expect the unexpected at all times.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.